Program to assist Macarthur cancer survivors post-treatment

Judy O’Shea (left) and Lynn McKay. Cancer Council NSW
Judy O’Shea (left) and Lynn McKay. Cancer Council NSW

A Cancer Council NSW program targeting Macarthur cancer survivors will begin later this month.

The ENRICHing Survivorship program will see participants partake in weekly two-hour sessions over an eight-week period.

The aim will be to provide those involved – survivors and loved ones – with nutritional information as well as advice about exercise and how to adjust to life post-cancer treatment.

Camden resident Judy O’Shea said support and exercise were crucial for those fighting the disease.

“For me, exercise was what allowed me to fight back against my cancer,” she said.

“Having someone to come to the course with you, to put their hand out and support you, that’s really important.”

Camden resident Lynn McKay experienced what it was like to support someone with cancer and also what it was like to be diagnosed with the disease.

“I lost my husband to cancer and then with my own breast cancer diagnosis I found myself really isolated,” she said. “With cancer, everything is stripped from you.

“You look different, you feel different and your sense of self-worth is affected.

“The program helped me start to get some routine back.”

Campbelltown Hospital medical oncologist Dr Di Adams said the post-treatment process was difficult for patients, but the program aimed to make that transition a lot easier.

“For cancer patients, we have a year from treatment to change a person’s thought processes,” she said.

“It’s about improving patient survival and helping people transition out of a treatment program into supportive care.”

Chairman of the 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer, Warren Morrison, said it was a no-brainer for the charity to get behind the program.

With cancer, everything is stripped from you. You look different, you feel different and your sense of self-worth is affected.

Camden resident and cancer survivor, Lynn McKay

“The cancer therapy centre at Campbelltown suggested the ENRICHing Survivorship program as something we could support and we were happy to oblige,” he said.

The first session will be held on Friday, February 23. For more details, including the location, call 1300 360 541 or email enrich@nswcc.org.au.